WICHITA COUNTY, Texas (TNN) - Following Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order, Wichita County officials have released an amended Declaration of Disaster.
The declaration was made because of the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Schools, universities, businesses and other governmental entities are having to alter their schedules because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The full Declaration of Disaster can be seen below:
City of Wichita Falls Issues Disaster Declaration in Response to COVID-19
Wichita Falls, Texas – In response to the increasing concerns of COVID-19 across the nation, Mayor Stephen Santellana has issued an emergency declaration for the City of Wichita Falls that goes into effect at 11:59PM on March 20, 2020. Pursuant to §418.108(a) of the Texas Government Code A, a Mayor or County Judge can declare a local state of disaster and public health emergency. The declaration puts into action the City’s emergency management plan and will assist with federal funding. Mayor Santellana said, “Issuing this declaration provides additional measures to help protect our citizens and provide the necessary resources and funding to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 within our community. This decision was carefully considered as we know this will impact many local businesses and residents. This is a challenging situation for our community, with changes happening daily. With these new measures in place, it is incumbent upon all of us to support our local businesses as much as possible.”
Per the Disaster Declaration issued today, any indoor or outdoor community gatherings of more than ten people will be prohibited at:
- Arenas, event venues, music venues, meeting halls and the conference center
- Indoor recreational facilities
- Health studios
- Indoor amusement facilities
- Bowling alleys
- Pool halls
- Theaters (theatres)
- Massage parlors
- Large cafeterias
- Bars, lounges, taverns and private clubs that allow for the on-premise consumption of alcohol
Dine-in restaurants, microbreweries, micro-distilleries, and wineries are allowed to remain open, so long as they only provide take-out, delivery or drive-through services.
A community gathering does not include the following, so long as visitors are generally not within six feet of one another for extended periods:
- Spaces where more than ten persons may be in transit or waiting for transit such as airports, bus stations, or terminals
- Office space, public and private schools, child care facilities, residential buildings, or any type of temporary sheltering or housing
- Grocery stores, shopping centers or malls, or other retail establishments where large numbers of people are present, but it is unusual for them to be within six feet of one another for extended periods
- Hospitals and medical facilities
In addition, all Wichita Falls Municipal court hearings have been postponed until April 15, 2020. The Court will continue to function in full capacity, with the exception of public walk in access. Citizens may call 940-761-7880 for questions.
The Declaration includes Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order changes:
- The banning of gatherings of 10 or more
- Dining in restaurants
- Closure of gyms
- Closure of bars
- Closure of schools with online work a possibility
These changes will take effect at 11:59 p.m. on Friday and will stay in place until midnight on April 3 unless they are extended further.
The order does not prohibit grocery stores, parks, gas stations or banks.
As of 5 p.m. Thursday, there has only been one confirmed case of coronavirus in Wichita County.
For a list of Texoma cancellations, closures, delays and precautions being taken, click here.